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Arm balancing poses are part of most power yoga classes because they combine strength with flexibility. Crane pose (bakasana) tones the arms and the abs, but some yoga students are afraid to try it for fear of falling forward on their faces. Try the pose on a mat or blanket, and you will build confidence as well as strength.
To enter crane (also called crow) pose, squat down with your heels on the floor if possible. Spread your knees wider than your hips and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Lift up onto the balls of your feet and lean forward so your knees come into contact with your biceps. Pull your abdomen in and slowly lift your feet off the floor.
Eventually your torso and bent legs will perch on the backs of your upper arms. There is a tendency to raise the hips and buttocks away from the heels when going into a crane pose, but try to resist this tendency and keep your hips as low as possible. Exit the pose by lowering back into a squatting position.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|